Saturday, November 9, 2013

Life in Our World - Rearranged

One day I was rearranging the furniture in the living room when Calvin came in from working outside.  He took one look at what I was doing and started to back out the door he'd just entered, saying, "Ah oh . . .  I'll be back in an hour or two."

I said, "But dinner is almost ready!"

He said, "But when you're moving furniture it only means one thing:  you're frustrated.  I'll come back when it's all over."

I said, "What do you mean I'm frustrated?  About what?"

He said, "I don't know about what.  I never know about what.  All I know is you start rearranging the house when you're frustrated about something."

I had never noticed that before, but he was right.  When life seemed out of control, where the furniture went was the one thing I could control.  Some use retail therapy, some use rearrange therapy.  

I rearranged the furniture this weekend.

A lot.

Our home isn't very big and the furniture really only fits in it one way.  Oh, I can move a chair or two and the lamps without too much problem.  I can even put the floor to ceiling secretary desk in two different spots, but the other big pieces of furniture pretty much have to stay in the same place.  So I thought.

How wrong I was.  The dining room table can run north and south, and the two black, six foot shelves (that Joe and Ande left when they moved) do fit in the dining room.

The bed in our bedroom is under the opposite window and the two antique children's chairs are now bedside-tables in the back guest room with a big pot of geraniums.

No room was safe.  Even the laundry closet.  The ironing board now hangs on the wall by the laundry cupboard like a piece of art (which it really is, Cali sewed a darling and stylish ironing board cover for it).

It was a frenzy and Calvin was smart to say outside during it.  It looks good; more importantly, it feels good.  I think I can get another year out of the old flooring and wall paint that having been bothering me so badly now.

I also rearranged my schedule.

Last year I promised myself it would be the last year that I'd get up at 4:00 am to prepare lessons for seminary.  I told myself I needed to be smarter with my time and energy and prepare better.   I didn't know when I made that promise that I'd be assigned the early morning class in addition to my regularly scheduled classes.  The only way to be out the door before 6:00 am with something prepared that is worthwhile is to get up and study at 4:00 am.

I don't mind getting up early, in fact I prefer the early morning hours -- after 5:00.  But, the one thing I don't like is using up so much of my good energy during 4:00 am and 12:00 noon.  By the time I get home I'm dragging and don't get as many things done that need to be.  

When I went to see Ty and Michelle, Michelle had a weekly schedule that she'd created for herself.  I was really impressed with it; not only with how she organized her schedule, but her realistic, yet challenging goals.  I asked Michelle for help and she sent her schedule this week. After personalizing it to my life, I printed it out.  Though I still have the same 24 hours, the same amount of energy, the same demands and work load, I now have a better plan.  Michelle even has a point system attached to her schedule (i.e., 1 point for exercising < than 30 minutes, 2 points for exercising for > than 30 minutes).  I've gotten in the very bad habit of planning too much for the day, moving today's unfinished responsibilities to tomorrow, and this week's jobs to next week.  But no longer.  Points are now attached for setting realistic goals and getting them done on time.  I don't know what the reward at the end of the month will be yet, but it will be a good one.

Friday night Calvin and I went to the last home football game, and Saturday night I went with my sister to the high school musical, Annie.  Both were great.  I was especially impressed with the orchestra at the play, Annie has a lot of songs.    The community's support for both events was pretty sweet.

I'm glad to live in small town USA . . . with rearranged furniture.

How about you?  Do you use rearrange therapy?  Are you glad you live where you do?


Jill said...

Our house is so tiny now that there are very few options for rearranging so I tend to clean and organize as part of my need to control something. I was a big time furniture rearranger during my first years of marriage and it took me awhile to figure out why I was always needing to rearrange things!

Gwen said...

Yes and yes! I also wanted to let you know that I loved your guest post on the Chocolate on my cranium blog. Greg was made bishop of our ward today and I've been trying really hard to think of the blessings that will come from this calling and not the overwhelming part of it! Thanks for the reminder. You are a wonderful example of someone truly thankful for her blessings.

Rachel Rasmussen said...

Huh. Light-bulb moment. Rearrange therapy. My husband can confirm that whenever I rearrange things it's because I'm frustrated. It doesn't happen very often, but at least now I know why I like to rearrange things.

I'll never forget Stewart's reaction the last time I rearranged. When he got home from work and walked in the door the first thing he saw was me with a guilty grin on my face.

He said, "What are you smiling ab...."

And then he saw the living room.


And then he shook his head and resigned himself to getting used to everything all over again. I have to admit, his reaction alone made it worth it because it made me laugh and laughing always makes me feel better.

How blessed we are to have such understanding husbands!

Ande said...

I've noticed I'm a stress/frustration cleaner. When I'm the maddest at Joe I start cleaning--like you, it makes me feel in control.

I'm going to get Michelle's schedule and see if I can do better!

I wish you blogged more, but I can certainly understand you dragging by noon.

Deidra said...

We've never had a big enough house or the right furniture to allow for rearranging (that, or I've never been frustrated enough!). I really wish I could make different arrangements.

I used to really not love where we live. I still don't love it, but I found listing picture of our house, and boy, how things have changed for the better around here. It's nice to make changes to make our house work for us, even if it takes a little while.

Heather Williams said...

Oh Jane, Jane, Jane!!! I'm so glad their is somebody else out there like me. I rearrange all.the.time! In fact it drives Ryan nuts. You'll have to thank Calvin for me because he totally understands it! It is so true. Especially when your on a budget like me and can't always go out and buy a new piece of furniture or whatever, the one thing I can always do is be creative and move around my house. It does feel so good. But I'm also wondering if it isn't since its a sign of frustration...I guess I get frustrated a lot! And you better believe there are more ways than one to put things! Thank you for this post and oh by the way, I miss you lots!